When Rachel saw that she was not bearing Jacob any children,1 she became jealous of her sister.2 So she said to Jacob, "Give me children, or I'll die!"
Jacob became angry with her and said, "Am I in the place of God,3 who has kept you from having children?"43
Then she said, "Here is Bilhah,5 my maidservant.6 Sleep with her so that she can bear children for me and that through her I too can build a family."74
So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife.8 Jacob slept with her,95
and she became pregnant and bore him a son.
Then Rachel said, "God has vindicated me;10 he has listened to my plea and given me a son."11 Because of this she named him Dan.a127
Rachel's servant Bilhah13 conceived again and bore Jacob a second son.
Then Rachel said, "I have had a great struggle with my sister, and I have won."14 So she named him Naphtali.b159
When Leah16 saw that she had stopped having children,17 she took her maidservant Zilpah18 and gave her to Jacob as a wife.1910
Leah's servant Zilpah20 bore Jacob a son.
Then Leah said, "What good fortune!"c So she named him Gad.d2112
Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son.
Then Leah said, "How happy I am! The women will call me22 happy."23 So she named him Asher.e2414
During wheat harvest,25 Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrake plants,26 which he brought to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes."
But she said to her, "Wasn't it enough27 that you took away my husband? Will you take my son's mandrakes too?" "Very well," Rachel said, "he can sleep with you tonight in return for your son's mandrakes."2816
So when Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him. "You must sleep with me," she said. "I have hired you with my son's mandrakes."29 So he slept with her that night.
God listened to Leah,30 and she became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son.
Then Leah said, "God has rewarded me for giving my maidservant to my husband."31 So she named him Issachar.f3219
Leah conceived again and bore Jacob a sixth son.
Then Leah said, "God has presented me with a precious gift. This time my husband will treat me with honor,33 because I have borne him six sons." So she named him Zebulun.g3421
Some time later she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.3522
Then God remembered Rachel;36 he listened to her37 and opened her womb.3823
She became pregnant and gave birth to a son39 and said, "God has taken away my disgrace."4024
She named him Joseph,h41 and said, "May the LORD add to me another son."42
After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, "Send me on my way43 so I can go back to my own homeland.4426
Give me my wives and children, for whom I have served you,45 and I will be on my way. You know how much work I've done for you."
But Laban said to him, "If I have found favor in your eyes,46 please stay. I have learned by divination47 thati the LORD has blessed me because of you."4828
He added, "Name your wages,49 and I will pay them."
Jacob said to him, "You know how I have worked for you50 and how your livestock has fared under my care.5130
The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the LORD has blessed you wherever I have been.52 But now, when may I do something for my own household?53"
"What shall I give you?" he asked. "Don't give me anything," Jacob replied. "But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them:
Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat.54 They will be my wages.5533
And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-colored,56 will be considered stolen.57"
"Agreed," said Laban. "Let it be as you have said."
That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-colored lambs,58 and he placed them in the care of his sons.5936
Then he put a three-day journey60 between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban's flocks.
Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond61 and plane trees62 and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches.6338
Then he placed the peeled branches64 in all the watering troughs,65 so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat66 and came to drink,
they mated in front of the branches.67 And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted.6840
Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-colored animals69 that belonged to Laban. Thus he made separate flocks for himself and did not put them with Laban's animals.
Whenever the stronger females were in heat,70 Jacob would place the branches in the troughs in front of the animals so they would mate near the branches,7142
but if the animals were weak, he would not place them there. So the weak animals went to Laban and the strong ones to Jacob.7243
In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and maidservants and menservants, and camels and donkeys.73